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Suddenly, it’s hip to be trad. Japanese traditional music is now in vogue, as artists such as Chitose Hajime, Hiromitsu Agatsuma, the Yoshida brothers and Shinichi Kinoshita strike a chord with music fans looking for something more rootsy and down-home to listen to than run-of-the-mill J-pop.

Music hacks like to write about musicians rediscovering their ethnic roots and incorporating folk elements into their music. It’s one of the cliches of rock journalism, and sometimes writers in search of a neat story angle to sell to their editors make a musical mountain out of a molehill, as it were.

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